Rahul Dravid's retirement March 27, 2012

What Dravid said at his felicitation

ESPNcricinfo staff
107

A transcript of Rahul Dravid's speech, made at the function organised by the BCCI to felicitate him in Mumbai on Tuesday.

To the BCCI, former India players, members of the Indian cricket team, my various other colleagues, ladies and gentlemen.

I'd made a pact with myself that I wouldn't cry at any of the functions over the last two or three weeks. I think that has been tested to the limit today. It has been nearly three weeks since I announced my retirement from international cricket and first-class cricket. It has really given me a chance over the last three weeks to sort of sit back and, in some ways, take it all in, and look back on what, for me, is a dream come true.

At one time, I was like any other kid in the street, any other kid in India, with a love for this game and a desire to play for India. I feel so blessed that I have been able to live that dream for over 16 years. Obviously, like some of the other guys have mentioned, for the next couple of months [when the IPL will be on] it does not feel like I have retired in some ways. It is still time to stay fit - it is getting harder and harder, I'm not enjoying going to gym, but I am still being forced to, at least for the next two months.

It is only in June that I will probably get time to be unemployed, and have a lot of time on my hands. As Anil [Kumble] and Sourav [Ganguly] have warned me, it probably gets busier. I am not sure doing what, but we'll just see...

I have had a chance over the last three weeks to try and think about what playing for India meant to me. What was this dream? What has it given me? Playing for India gave me the opportunity to travel the world, to play on some of the greatest grounds in the world. In cities and countries that I had only heard of on the radio, listening to radio commentary with my father or waking up in the morning and picking up the newspaper to see what Sunil Gavaskar, Kapil Dev, GR Viswanath had done the next day. For me to have the opportunity to play on these great grounds, to play against some of these greatest of players - players that I had growing up looking up to, it was fantastic. Cricket has given me a lifetime of experiences.

It has made me give joy to a lot of people by just playing a sport that I love. I have experienced some unbelievable victories and crushing defeats in my career as a first-class cricketer. What I have realised with it is everything does pass, and we can endure and we can survive. Playing for India humbled me. It made me appreciate how lucky I was to be able to do what I did for so long.

When I look back on this long journey … you recognise that you have been very fortunate, very lucky. You have had the support of so many people who have made this dream possible. I truly feel that I have been in some ways at the right place, at the right time. For me to be able to be standing here in front of some of my heroes, people whom I admire, people whom I respect, and to be able to talk to you all … I think it has not been culmination of my efforts but the efforts of so many people who have gone into making this wonderful day possible.

I'll probably miss out on a few people when I speak and I hope that they forgive me. But I would like to put on record and recognise so many people who were behind the scenes: groundsmen, scorers, umpires, people who organise a game. Wherever you go in India there are so many people who selflessly do honorary jobs to make this game possible for us, to set the stage for us. Without their contributions these hundreds would not have been possible, these memories would not have been possible.

When I look back on the various coaches that I have had, right from the time of the late Keki Tarapore, who first taught me the basics of the game, to the many coaches through my time at Karnataka, through all the international coaches that I have had, I feel each of them has added to my game. Each of them helped me become a better cricketer, and a better person. For that I am thankful.

When I stand here and I look at some of the senior players who have been kind enough to come for this occasion, I feel really lucky. As a young boy I dreamed of just being able to get an autograph out of them, just to be able to meet them. This sport has given me a chance to interact with some of them. I would like to thank all my senior cricketers, all my heroes, all my role models for inspiring me, for leaving behind a legacy that I was very conscious of, a legacy of Indian cricket that I was very aware of. It meant something to me, and of the life I wanted to lead. And something that I hope they will feel I have tried to take forward.

The various teams and cricketers that I have played with at Karanataka and in India have been the highlight of my career and will also be some of my fondest memories. Without my various team-mates … some of whom have spoken most eloquently and most touchingly of our time together. Thanks Anil, thanks Sourav, thanks Laxie [VVS Laxman] and thanks Mahi [MS Dhoni], your words have meant a lot to me. The memories we have shared as a team, and some of the victories and things we have achieved will be special and will remain special for me. I would like to believe that we took a great legacy of the Indian team forward. We have left a strong legacy for Mahi and his young team to take forward. I have no doubt that they will take it to even greater heights.

Anil, I will miss your intensity. I will miss your desire. I have learned so much from watching you. I might not miss some of the vegetarian meals - without mushroom, without onions, without garlic. But there is a lot that I will miss.

Sourav, ours was a great partnership. As you would expect with captains and vice-captains over a long period, it is a relationship like a husband and wife in some ways - it goes through its ups and downs. But I think we both agree that we came through with pretty much flying colours. There are some really good memories that we shared and there are some great moments that we can have a good laugh and a drink over, may be in the IPL.

To Laxman, thanks for one the greatest days in my cricketing career. Without you Calcutta would never have been possible. I was privileged to be able to have watched one of the greatest innings played by an Indian cricketer ever from the other end. Thanks for your friendship. Thanks for your conversations, thanks for your company at second slip, where many a topic, including Ranji Trophy to why contractors and architects are not doing a good jobs, was discussed.

Mahi, I think you can be really proud of what you have done with this Indian cricket team. To watch you lift the World Cup that day, it is almost a year to the day, was very special for me. Especially after what happened in 2007, to see a team and sea a group of boys go on to win the World Cup was indeed memorable. And to see something like watching Kapil Dev lift the World Cup as a ten-year-old that inspired me, to see a group of cricketers and a generation of cricketers that I had played with do it again in 2011 was special. I know that you have inspired a whole host of ten-year-olds by what you and your team did last year. There are challenges as you have noticed over the last bit of time, but I truly believe you have got the right temperament and right capability to take the legacy of Indian cricket forward.

A lot of the names and lot of the people I mentioned are legends, and have great records in terms of statistics. Sometimes the people who achieve great things, of course they do through hardwork and sacrifice, but they are also very lucky. I have played with a lot of people who in the book of history of Indian cricket probably would not be considered great, at least statistically, but in my eyes everyone who played the game with me and played it with an intention to win, with a desire to win and gave it everything was a hero. And I learned so much from you. It was inspiring to watch people work so hard and struggle so much and sometimes not achieve what they want and come back and do it again and again. I would like to thank all my team-mates for your memories, your friendships. Nothing of this would have been possible without you. It is something which I would dearly miss. Being part of an Indian cricket dressing room is something I would definitely miss - just the camaraderie, just the banter, just that striving … may be not the rap music.

I would also like to place on record my thanks to the KSCA, which was my local state association where I grew up, for their support, their guidance. Also the various officials at the BCCI for the various times when they gave me the right kind of encouragement and support. It has been a fascinating journey for me to see where Indian cricket has gone from the time I started in 1996. I still remember when we went for tours in 1996, sometimes Indian cricketers were treated, if I may use the word, as second-class citizens. We were the team that got the first tour of the summer in England, we were the team that got sent to some of the smaller grounds. The officials in the BCCI have ensured in 15 years times that we are the big boys of international cricket, that we dictate the terms. A lot of that has happened because of the performance of the players, but also because of the work that has been done by various officials, various office bearers with the BCCI during my time.

Over the last few weeks, I have also been really touched by the reaction to my decision to retire. All that I have read and listened to has really humbled me. It has humbled me not because a lot has been written and said, which in this day and age with so much media and publicity is bound to happen, but what really touched me was the care, the attention and the thought that people have put into writing some of the really nice things they have said about me. People have not gone about it casually. In fact, there are various qualities and virtues [of mine] that I have only discovered in the last few weeks, listening to people. I am not going to complain about that. It has been really touching. Thank you.

I may not be playing for India anymore but to the present Indian team what I would like to say is: guys, I will watch with great interest what I think is an extremely exciting and really talented group of young cricketers. I hope Indian cricket will always be a strong force, both on the field and off the field. And I have no doubt that I would take great pleasure, with a cup of tea and a biscuit in my hand, in watching you guys achieve great things.

Thank you very much.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Lilagopal on March 29, 2012, 4:17 GMT

    My salutes to Rahul Dravid, one of the greatest cricketer that world has produced. No other playerwould have announced his retirement before his debut and that shows what RD is for you!!! Kudos Dravid!! Your cricketing experience is much needed for the future experience. Loved the way Dravid has transcripted his speech.

  • on March 28, 2012, 18:45 GMT

    SINCE RAHUL HAS NOT MENTIONED SACHIN NAME, people are making mockery of the speech, even Srinath's name is not mentioned...Dravid has mentioned only those who are present. In other way WHY Sachin is not present in the event.....

  • Sanjeevakki on March 28, 2012, 14:44 GMT

    @@Farce-Follower Well said Bro!!!

  • on March 28, 2012, 13:59 GMT

    1996...My days of unemployment along with my friends after graduation. We used to wait for 2pm so thetest matches in England would start as we had nothing much to do. And during that test match we saw debut of Dravid and Ganguly and boy were those special innings. Instantly we knew we would see a lot more of them. Times flies. From days of unemployment in India to becoming a Project manager in Calgary...times have changed for me and it is difficult to beleive its been so long that Dravid has actually retired and I wont see him in test matches anymore. True what they say. Time flies and one should enjoy every moment of it and I wish I had watched every single innings on Dravid.

  • on March 28, 2012, 13:31 GMT

    I think one of the most stylish batsmaen produced by Indian crocket. I always loved watching him playing. Apart from a cricketer he appears to me as a humble, modest human being. I would love to see him as an expert giving his views on TV. My best wishes for him and his entire family.

  • on March 28, 2012, 13:25 GMT

    What a man... What a legend...

  • Kamalakantameher on March 28, 2012, 12:40 GMT

    As we know dravid is a great player but not a legend.He is jealeous about sachin.Think Sachin's 194* vs pak when dravid declared the innings.Dravid's top performances are always shadowed by sachin's brilliance.Look at younger players,they praised sachin for helping them but after spending 16 years together,he didnot mentioned sachin's name for once in his speech.What a joke!

  • on March 28, 2012, 12:30 GMT

    Thanks Rahul for being the epitome of patience and telling 10 year olds what really is a perfect cricketing shot.

    Hope to see your short arm pulls in IPL now.

    All the best for this new phase , hope you enjoy time with family and friends.

    Sincere thanks for making my growing up days wonderful.

    loads of Love and luck

  • ankur.sags on March 28, 2012, 12:05 GMT

    As an Architect, need to do a better job now !!!! But I sincerely hope that we still get to see u mentoring and inspiring young talent in the country. Cricket is not the same without u....!!!! thanks for being an inspiration jammy !!!

  • on March 28, 2012, 11:53 GMT

    Salutes Dravid!!!! I would love you to become batting coach of the Indian team.

  • Lilagopal on March 29, 2012, 4:17 GMT

    My salutes to Rahul Dravid, one of the greatest cricketer that world has produced. No other playerwould have announced his retirement before his debut and that shows what RD is for you!!! Kudos Dravid!! Your cricketing experience is much needed for the future experience. Loved the way Dravid has transcripted his speech.

  • on March 28, 2012, 18:45 GMT

    SINCE RAHUL HAS NOT MENTIONED SACHIN NAME, people are making mockery of the speech, even Srinath's name is not mentioned...Dravid has mentioned only those who are present. In other way WHY Sachin is not present in the event.....

  • Sanjeevakki on March 28, 2012, 14:44 GMT

    @@Farce-Follower Well said Bro!!!

  • on March 28, 2012, 13:59 GMT

    1996...My days of unemployment along with my friends after graduation. We used to wait for 2pm so thetest matches in England would start as we had nothing much to do. And during that test match we saw debut of Dravid and Ganguly and boy were those special innings. Instantly we knew we would see a lot more of them. Times flies. From days of unemployment in India to becoming a Project manager in Calgary...times have changed for me and it is difficult to beleive its been so long that Dravid has actually retired and I wont see him in test matches anymore. True what they say. Time flies and one should enjoy every moment of it and I wish I had watched every single innings on Dravid.

  • on March 28, 2012, 13:31 GMT

    I think one of the most stylish batsmaen produced by Indian crocket. I always loved watching him playing. Apart from a cricketer he appears to me as a humble, modest human being. I would love to see him as an expert giving his views on TV. My best wishes for him and his entire family.

  • on March 28, 2012, 13:25 GMT

    What a man... What a legend...

  • Kamalakantameher on March 28, 2012, 12:40 GMT

    As we know dravid is a great player but not a legend.He is jealeous about sachin.Think Sachin's 194* vs pak when dravid declared the innings.Dravid's top performances are always shadowed by sachin's brilliance.Look at younger players,they praised sachin for helping them but after spending 16 years together,he didnot mentioned sachin's name for once in his speech.What a joke!

  • on March 28, 2012, 12:30 GMT

    Thanks Rahul for being the epitome of patience and telling 10 year olds what really is a perfect cricketing shot.

    Hope to see your short arm pulls in IPL now.

    All the best for this new phase , hope you enjoy time with family and friends.

    Sincere thanks for making my growing up days wonderful.

    loads of Love and luck

  • ankur.sags on March 28, 2012, 12:05 GMT

    As an Architect, need to do a better job now !!!! But I sincerely hope that we still get to see u mentoring and inspiring young talent in the country. Cricket is not the same without u....!!!! thanks for being an inspiration jammy !!!

  • on March 28, 2012, 11:53 GMT

    Salutes Dravid!!!! I would love you to become batting coach of the Indian team.

  • Balamuarli on March 28, 2012, 11:41 GMT

    RAHUL "THE WALL" DRAVID ,We will miss you for sure in the days to come , one Consolation is that we can see our hero play one last time in IPL .

    From the day you Announced your retirement till today what ever article i read abou you , program i see about you i am in to tears . I am proud to say i am DRAVID FAN .

    Coming to RD not mentioning SRT in his speech , Dravid speech was thanks giving speech for earlier speakers . So there is no wrong in not mentioning SRT . for that case we did not mention about SEWHAG or gambir,BHAJI or Yuvraj with whom he played lot. all Players present in function does not mean they do not have any prior commitment . There should be basic courtey to send off your mate , Bad on SRT to skip it. The Prasing we hear about DRAVID is from people's HEART , Unadulterated .

    SRT - Army chief General VK Singh RD - JAWAN General is Superior ,BUT comman Man holds Jawan HIGH. LONG LIVE DRAVID and HIS LEGACY .

  • daleee on March 28, 2012, 11:39 GMT

    Dravid took the Indian Test cricket to higher standards and made the country proud..True sportsman and the indian cricket will surely miss him

  • on March 28, 2012, 11:36 GMT

    Dear Rahul , I just came back home(BLR ) few days ago as I was travelling in Thailand and Brisbane, Sydney , Melbourne and Perth I'm a great fan of Rahul Dravid from the day you started playing for Karnataka and India The moment I heard, you are hanging boots, my eyes were wet and I was unable to attend the conference in Bangkok and attended only the third day As my next top was in Gabba, I ensured I visited each of the stadias which the great Rahul has played and I took photographs and every time I was missing you play again in these world class grounds I even bought a T shirt inn MCG to show it to you If I meet you ever I'm a businessman but great fan of Karnataka and Indian cricket I'll miss you seeing you one down in tests

  • on March 28, 2012, 10:30 GMT

    INDIAN TEST CRICKET WILL BE ORPHANED WITHOUT RAHUL DRAVID...

  • sushantincric on March 28, 2012, 10:15 GMT

    Its been a privileged to watch you , learn from you and now hearing you.... you will never be missed because there is more than cricket to Rahul sir..

  • on March 28, 2012, 9:31 GMT

    Salute to Rahul Dravid straight from the heart!

  • AslamAli on March 28, 2012, 9:09 GMT

    I am surprised too that Dravid did not mention Sachin's name in his speech. There are lot of good partnerships between these 2 on field. Maybe some hidden issues off field among them!!

  • on March 28, 2012, 8:53 GMT

    Hats of to one of the greatest cricketer india has produced...True gentleman..Gem of indian cricket...we'll miss you brother..!!

  • on March 28, 2012, 8:38 GMT

    Dear Rahul ,

    I just came back home(BLR ) few days ago as I was travelling in Thailand and Brisbane, Sydney , Melbourne and Perth I'm a great fan of Rahul Dravid from the day you started playing for Karnataka and India The moment I heard, you are hanging boots, my eyes were wet and I was unable to attend the conference in Bangkok and attended only the third day As my next top was in Gabba, I ensured I visited each of the stadias which the great Rahul has played and I took photographs and every time I was missing you play again in these world class grounds I even bought a T shirt inn MCG to show it to you If I meet you ever I'm a businessman but great fan of Karnataka and Indian cricket I'll miss you seeing you one down in tests Regards Raghavena

  • on March 28, 2012, 8:32 GMT

    remember dravid declaring innings when sachin was on 196?? clearly sachin can hide his true selfish face from his fans but not somebody like dravid. clearly the reason dravid didnt mention him in his speech. players like sachin cant expect any respect from a fully devoted team man like dravid.

  • Sen_San on March 28, 2012, 8:18 GMT

    Sachin left for England due to his old Toe injury. But we all know he is the first to praise dravid as 'There is only one Dravid' the previous day to Dravid's retirement. But it is really surprising that dravid did not mention a word about Sachin.. After all even the great people are human beings.. If we notice, the people who got special praises are less than dravid in terms of greatness.. not to forget the declaration in pakistan by then captain dravid when sachin was about to achieve back to back double hundreds in test against pakistan.. dravid is a gentleman cricketer for others and not for his superior competitors.. after all he is also a human..

  • on March 28, 2012, 7:45 GMT

    Rahul Dravid - the best human being + cricketer to have blessed the Indian cricket! No one should have any two thoughts about this. And the way he speaks and writes, he has earned even more respect from me and many others after his retirement! Specially with his humility! Hats-off! Everyone else can be replaced, but not Rahul Dravid.

  • kabe_ag7 on March 28, 2012, 7:15 GMT

    "but in my eyes everyone who played the game with me and played it with an intention to win, with a desire to win and gave it everything was a hero". Golden words. Slips in some of them every time he speaks.

  • hasitha81 on March 28, 2012, 7:13 GMT

    One of the greatest test cricketers India has produced in modern era. Tribute to you and wish you all the best (On behalf of SL fans)

  • on March 28, 2012, 7:13 GMT

    Watching test matches, knowing he is not going to walk out onto the field, its never going to be the same again...Not just his exquisite batting and fielding, but his calm n composed attitude and his dedication will also be missed...Knowing I wont watch that trademark cover drive or the impenetrable defence again is hard to digest...RD you hav given us so many moments to cherish over the years...true gentleman in the gentlemen's game :)

  • sameer997 on March 28, 2012, 7:08 GMT

    RESPECT, there will never be another dravid

  • rahul_sai on March 28, 2012, 7:05 GMT

    Thanks for the all the gud times u ve treated us wid. Hope to meet u one day and get an autograph, nope, a photograph as kohli wud say. 16 years of following you have spoiled me to the extent that I dont scold anybody even if he bad mouths me. no wonder I ve a lot of friends.

  • here2rock on March 28, 2012, 7:03 GMT

    Is there an audio or video of his speech? I woiuld love to hear/watch it.

  • vigshenoy on March 28, 2012, 6:56 GMT

    Cant imagine Indian test cricket without Dravid at no 3 :( ll miss him a lot.. Greatest test cricketer.

  • veerakannadiga on March 28, 2012, 6:46 GMT

    I had to read the speech twice to understand it correctly, because my eyes was all misty when I first read it. No one, I repeat No one can ever replace this fantastic human being.I feel as though one of my own family member, maybe a brother or a son, has just left us. Cricket will never be the same again, at least for me. God Bless You .AMEN

  • on March 28, 2012, 6:44 GMT

    Sachin is not only selfish on the field but off the field too..Salute to Great Wall of Cricket.....jaipur rajastan

  • on March 28, 2012, 6:40 GMT

    will definately miss you RD!! your a unsung hero of Indian Cricket

  • crick_sucks on March 28, 2012, 6:39 GMT

    Respect to Dravid. You deserve every praise and tribute. You have earned it. Really cheap behavior from SRT to stay away from this felicitation. Shows SRT's true character. Such a jealous person SRT is, he can't stand the heart felt tribute coming Dravid's way.

  • on March 28, 2012, 6:35 GMT

    @parasuram first u didnt ntice that sachin cant attend the function of a true warriors farewell function then why the hell u want rahul to praise him

  • Farce-Follower on March 28, 2012, 6:35 GMT

    I am amazed that many readers fail to understand the context of the speech. Rahul did not acknowledge Sachin (who did not even have the courtesy to send a taped message), because Sachin did not talk in the preceding moments. Anil, Saurav, MSD and VVS did talk. If Sehwag or Sachin were around, he would have acknowledged. Sachin's big toe was damaged. My foot !

  • on March 28, 2012, 6:35 GMT

    the great wall of china was made a long ago still its a wall as a gift to china...Dravid you are and you'll always be the wall of india that no ever cricketer will forget..India will never get next Dravid ever..

  • here2rock on March 28, 2012, 6:33 GMT

    I see a great writer and speaker in Rahul Dravid. I wonder whether he will be hired by the corporate world around the world for inspiration. I am looking forward to reading his books and adding to my library. My fondest memory of Dravid is his partnership with Laxman in Kolkata against a rampant Aussie team. They stood tall and undefeated at the end of a very hot day. Nothing could beat them on that day, thank you for the memories.

  • san_indus on March 28, 2012, 6:33 GMT

    @parsuram: Rahul referred his team and teammates many times. As far I know Sachin was included there unless you think he is beyond the team.

  • Rahul_78 on March 28, 2012, 6:27 GMT

    I was privileged to watch Rahul on 23rd of this month from close quarters playing a exhibition game in Dubai. My everlasting memory of Rahul will be him shadow practicing his forward defense while fielding at long off. He was fielding near the boundary I guess on purpose so that adoring crowd could click his photos and he was also kind enough to sign autographs whenever he could. What an extraordinary cricketer and true gentlemen off the cricket field. Respect to you Sir. Thanks Cricinfo for providing the complete transcript.

  • Vishal_Raj on March 28, 2012, 6:26 GMT

    continued from last post Vishal_raj 6) Its truly bcoz of him and his knocks India have won In Aus, Eng, WI, Pak, where we never won before and his contribution was higher than sachin (check out Dravid and sachin avg in India victories overseas) 7) Sachin has the records but Dravid has the respect. Compare sachin recent article on retirement and dravid speech post retirement you just now who is being selfish and who has really played for the nation, who has made the highest sacrifices to add real value to Indian team. Dravid action, sacrifice is higher than sachin's in terms of Team contribution ultimately serving the nation and its billion fans. 8) Naseer hussain described him teh best saying he score "Tough Runs" in difficult conditions, wearing off the swing cond for sachin n co take adv.

    Big Salute to Rahul Dravid aka jammy , His contribution, sacrifice, dedication to Indian cricket is unmatched. words fall flat and short when he picks his bat to play for India. True Hero

  • barani_m1975 on March 28, 2012, 6:24 GMT

    rahul earned good names, now every indian proud of him becauase of his simplicity, humble, dedication , commitment with Game and he is a true gentleman plays only for team not for records. Sachin is totally different and i am sure he is going to lose his name with fans. Lot of people already criticise about sachin being selfish . lof of people are aware that sachin is playing only for records not for the team.

  • barani_m1975 on March 28, 2012, 6:15 GMT

    Sachin shame on you. YOu must have attended this function. You don't like praising Rahul. He earned good name b'z he is a gentleman and plays only for the team , but you are not playing for team. you are playing for records so that you could make millions of money. Now everybody respects Dravid, that you don't like. You are thinking that you are like super star, but in real its not. Rahul dravid is the best than you.

  • gmssportive on March 28, 2012, 6:05 GMT

    @ parsuram: dude don't take anything and everything in bad manner.i understand ur die hard fan of sachin.do u think sachin need to be praised always???even everybody in this world scold him he is wat he is.ok.everybody know he is true warrior and legend.dont complaint dravid instead salute his dedication and passion towards sports which he respected the most

  • nikhilbengeri on March 28, 2012, 6:00 GMT

    Rahul Dravid.. U actually owe me an autograph. It was a charity match held b/w Karnataka XI & India XI, at Hubli, Karnataka, when I saw U for the first time in real. Man U looked like a hero. U were standing at the boundary when I sneaked there asking you for an autograph, n U told me U would giv it after that particular over (The gr8 RD spoke to me). But during that over only, your filed position was changed. And unfortunately U went away and never came back to that position. U wont believe.. I stood there jus waiting for your autograph but unfortunately never got it. I wan cricinfo to help me get an autograph ( I know this is very unrealistic of me to even demand when millions of such ppl are waiting for the same thing) from him.. As for this speech, wel I feel its jus ANOTHER FEATHER in your CAP..

  • Vishal_Raj on March 28, 2012, 5:59 GMT

    Amazing Speech, Dont know why even though I like Tendulkar as a better batsman than dravid but his contribution to cricket is higher than sachin

    1) He came out as an opener to accomodate Yuvraj/ Raina for the no 6 position 2) In overcast condition/ Difficult pitches he used to bat through teh difficult period, see off teh new ball and then sachin/lax/ganguly used to make hay when the pitch flattens out. 3) WHile saving matches or playing for a draw, he was teh one who used to frustrate the bowlers and never give away his wicket easily. He used to kill the bowler mentally and physically and as usual sachin n co used to take adv of dravid initial efforts. 4) Just to maintain team balance in 2003 WC he started to keep wickets so that india could play the extra bowler/batsman acc to pitch conditions 5) In India 16 overseas victories post 1996 he has 6 MOM awards and sachin 1-2 . Speak volumes who was the true hero in Making India a better team oveseas

    wil continue in next post

  • on March 28, 2012, 5:57 GMT

    Salute to great legend.Rahul Dravid.. THE WALL

  • Naren on March 28, 2012, 5:53 GMT

    @parsuram clearly how partial you are. This is a felicitation function for Dravid. Why was not Tendulkar present? Or no message either from him? Why people always ask other cricketers about Tendulkar and not the other way round? It is very funny.

  • Naren on March 28, 2012, 5:49 GMT

    Tendulkar was not present. He must be basking in his personal glory of 100 hundreds and does not have time to honor a true selfless cricketer, who served India along with Laxman, the true warriors of India.

  • on March 28, 2012, 5:46 GMT

    Rahul is such a gentle man...he vl surely wont commit any mistake...There must be some tensions between them wat forced dravid not to take his name. Who knows? Dravid wud've asked sachi to attend the ceremony and sachi ignored it. Who knows? Sachin is one of the team(dhoni, srikkanth etc) who pressurized dravid from cricket. How can anyone digest the dialogue by sachin--i can even play 2015 WC and dravid is retiring now. Cant respect sachin anymore. These years, l used to love rahul and respect sachin..but no more.

  • pavan31 on March 28, 2012, 5:43 GMT

    I have always admired Rahul for his humbleness. He is a true ambassador of the game and I hope all the youngsters learn from his career. The whole of India will surely miss the legendary forward defense of Rahul and I wish we find a true replacement for him in the likes of Pujara, Kohli & Rohit

  • on March 28, 2012, 5:38 GMT

    Andre2, Parsuram and Vamsi Kris, you say Gentleman Sachin and he keeps absent in his own city function and you are interested only about why Rahul did not talk about Sachin and you are not talking about why Sachin was absent!!!!!!. Rahul could have been the Greatest Cricketer of India, had he not played in the same time as Sachin, there is no doubt about it.

  • zero_knowledge on March 28, 2012, 5:30 GMT

    there are some comments here about why rahul dravid hasn't spoken anything about sachin.. that's simply because sachin wasn't present in the event.. if you observe rahul hasn't spoken anything about srinath too.now being team mates both for karnataka and india definitely they'd have shared so much.. so does it mean they both aren't in good terms? no it just means like sachin even srinath was also not present in the function.. people always like to come up with conspiracy theories..

  • trip_trap on March 28, 2012, 5:13 GMT

    @ ProdigyB, Gmale, L4zybugg3r, Vamsi Kris: Gentlemen, rather than take in Dravid's transcript and recognize the fact that one of the best batsmen's career during our era has just come to an end, you seem to be itching to rake up a controversy.

    Sad!!

  • trip_trap on March 28, 2012, 5:05 GMT

    @ Vamsi Kris: Tendulkar was attending a ceremony thrown by Mukesh Ambani to celebrate his 100th hundred on the same evening that this event was held. One might argue that Sachin has enough clout to ensure that the two events don't clash, so that he can be part of the Dravid's tribute ceremony, but that didn't happen, did it?

    One can always look for and dig up a controversy. Let things be!!

  • on March 28, 2012, 4:56 GMT

    My view. Sachin was really unhappy with Rahul's decision to retire after Australia tour. Post Wall's retirement, critics and experts demanded Sachin to follow the footsteps of India's best NO 3 batsmen after 100th 100. He was visibly pissed off in the press conferences as well when asked when are you planning to hang your boots as Dravid had done it already. Sachin should have attended the function as a mark of respect. I am not really impressed with Sachin's decision to stay away from the felicitation. May be he would have had to attend a party thrown by AMBANI family on his 100th 100 :). Whatever, he should have attended.

  • on March 28, 2012, 4:52 GMT

    Didnt understand what Sachin meant by dont want to be selfish by retiring. Earlier sachin used to get out now bowlers get him out. Dravid realised that and retired at the right time. Its time sachin to wake up and make a graceful exit.

  • Thekick on March 28, 2012, 4:48 GMT

    I don't understand what is fuss about Dravid not mentioning about Sachin in his speech.

    In a function like this you can only thank who spoke about you before your speech, not someone who was not even attending the function.

    I do wonder how come Sachin who attended his Ambani celebrations didn't get time to attend Dravid function (both of them hosted in the same city) ?

    If that is the courtesy shown to his former team mate, by the man who proclaim 'he is madly in love with the game', I would definitely question his so called 'mad love'

  • Satyarth on March 28, 2012, 4:46 GMT

    Not a mention of Sachin????? He shared a world record with him in terms of partnerships!!!!Sachin mentioned him in his speech the day b4 he announced retirements!!!!!!!

  • on March 28, 2012, 4:42 GMT

    well said by Mr wall of INDIAN CRICKET TEAM.

    I think ,indian cricekt team will always miss you.

    you are the best...............

  • on March 28, 2012, 4:40 GMT

    @all who say rahul missed to mention about SRT in speech where was SRT in function .. he didnt attend it why ?

  • manu211 on March 28, 2012, 4:37 GMT

    A LEGEND,TRUE SPORTS MAN,MY FAVOURITE,MY INSPIRATION DRAVID UR THE TRUE LEGEND I HAD EVER SEEN.

    ALL THE BEST DARLING.

  • raks_pace on March 28, 2012, 4:37 GMT

    People who are saying that Rahul did not speak about Sachin, first See this- "After a recorded message from Srinivasan played out, Kumble, Ganguly, Laxman and Dhoni walked up to the podium to pass on messages of thanks to Dravid." Hence Dravid in his speech only talked about those guys who gave him tribute... So there is nothing controversial here with Sachin's absence due to unknown reasons or Dravid not mentioning about him.

  • on March 28, 2012, 4:36 GMT

    Dravid may not play for Indian cricket team. But he will be the best coach for the future Indian cricket team. Hope, he takes that role very soon and everyone will enjoy that. Hats off to Dravid. We miss you in every test match ...

  • on March 28, 2012, 4:32 GMT

    Wall wall will never have a fall. Wall means W-Wall A-Always have L-Long L-Life or Long Innings. RSD 2nd inns has just began. Now BCCI must appoint him as the Chief Selector since he knows in & out of each & every cricketer in the Indian dressing room.Wish you all the best RSD the true non-contervesional genteleman of the Cricket Lengendary Game.

  • ToTellUTheTruth on March 28, 2012, 4:15 GMT

    Oh come on people!!! Can't we have one decent speech without reference to SRT? SRT paid his tributes already. Have you thought of what could have prevented him from attending this? May be a sick child? Come on. Give the man a break.

    RD...loved your speech. Just wished you threw a word about the Indian Womens' team too. After all, those girls have to tough it out really hard to play for the country and they don't get any attention/mention. Just saying. I am hoping the next-to-retire stalwarts read this message and make sure they mention and recognize the hard work of the girls.

  • on March 28, 2012, 4:13 GMT

    When ever India played test match I believe we more dependent upon Dravid than anyone else...Thats why people call him "THE WALL"..We may get talented players in future..but there is only "RAHUL DRAVID" in indian cricket history...Hats off....

  • on March 28, 2012, 4:11 GMT

    Dravid is art-house cinema.....Tendulkar is pot-boiler.Both are having their own appeal and own fan-following.Same-same but different

  • Sanjeevakki on March 28, 2012, 4:06 GMT

    @@@Andre2 You are absolutely right!!! I was a BIG Follower of Sachin, but not any more...... The reason being Sachin was assumed by all CRICKET followers as GOD of INDIAN CRICKET.... but now he has become DON of INDIAN CRICKET.... Who thinks "HE is bigger than the game itself by opting to choose which series to play and which not to play" AND he still wants to play in ODI's just for the sake few more centuries in batting freindly INDIAN wickets...@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@ last but not the least kudos to Dravid, the Ultimate team MAN. Thanks for the memories and your sacrifice DRAVID. I hope you will lift IPL 5 trophy for Rajasthan!!!

  • shahbazhussain on March 28, 2012, 3:56 GMT

    Well its really quite disturbing, two men, one played 16 years and walking away and responding to the tribute given by team mates and friends. And the other man who has spent 23 years till date and still undone why not on a single occasion a 16-year career man could ever met with 23-year career man? No relationship? No respect? No words? No thanks? Sachin is really a great great great cricketer... May be you can name him the second prominent cricketer after Don Bradman! I dont think there is any second opinion about Sachin though people argue but its true he is a legend and has a complete legacy that nobody will ever think to follow it! Its too hard, pretty hard damn hard to get 100 100s and 20k runs in both formats! woow. We really dont want Sachin GO! but what happend to RD? Why you dont remember a single moment of your life in your 16-year career with Sachin who has been more consistent than you and even recorded in the history with greatest stats in any game ever!

  • on March 28, 2012, 3:53 GMT

    Good that Dravid did not mention about Sachin...... Why shud he mention about a selfish man who does'nt even bother to attend his colleagues felicitation Shame on you Sachin.....Was busy celebrating his 100 centuries with Ambani group....You have lost the remaining bit of respect from ur fans

  • SouthPaw on March 28, 2012, 3:30 GMT

    Guys, this is about Rahul Dravid, not about Sachin. So forget him and focus on Dravid.

  • on March 28, 2012, 3:28 GMT

    True Gentleman of the game!

  • on March 28, 2012, 3:16 GMT

    Give Rahul and Sachin a break guys. They're both jewels of Indian cricket. Maybe Sachin felt too emotional at the thought of having to speak about the man with whom he shared the most partnerships. There's no doubt the duo share great respect for each other as was evident from ST's comment about RD when he retired and what Dravid had to say when Sachin got his 100th. I'm sure when Sachin bids adieu, we will see Rahul waxing eloquent about him and ST return the compliment.

  • on March 28, 2012, 3:10 GMT

    He was brilliant with the bat and in field. He was a great image for not only India but all the other cricketing countries as well. I always looked forward to his batting although I am a pakistani fan

  • on March 28, 2012, 2:17 GMT

    Thank you Rahul Dravil, 'the Wall' in deed and in spirit, for sharing half of your life and your greatest takents with us. I have always appreiated the dignity, determination and self assurance with which you approcached your game. You have left so much for the Indian team and all cricketers around the world to think about, reflect on and learn from. I hope to still be seeing you around in the commentary box perhaps, and if some luck comes my way, meet you sometime in Thailand, where as the lone West Indian cricketer, I stand out in the crowd, often trying to imitate "the Wall'. Best of luck to you and family

  • armchair_critic on March 28, 2012, 2:11 GMT

    Rahul thanked Anil,Sauarav,Laxman,Dhoni because they came up on stage and spoke about him. Simple. If sachin had come on stage and talked about him then i am sure rahul would have thanked him too. Maybe next time the ambanis should organize a farewell for Rahul so that sachin can come :)

  • madapr on March 28, 2012, 2:09 GMT

    All the best for your future Dravid, From the comments from Kumble & Ganguly seems like you will have a busy time in cricket arena. but not the cricket but Indian people would need from you is different career. With the kind of knowledge you have in history,politics and attitude to do "what is right". We all would like to see you making some changes in common(middle class), man you are the kind of guy who can improve the life of a common man. Either it could be social welfare organization or politics etc..

    Whatever you would choose, We all know that you would excel -- Remembering one of the Manjrekar opinion, Cricket is lucky that you would have choosen to play.

    Looking forward to see what career you would choose in next 1 yr.

  • HarshaH on March 28, 2012, 1:46 GMT

    A few have commented here that Rahul Dravid had not mentioned Sachin Tendulkar by name. Nor has he mentioned anybodyelse by name amongst the current team of Indian players, excepting for the few who praised RD in that function and therefore RD thanked them for it. People still complaining, please also note that RD has special praise for cricket lovers who before making a remark carefully think about the matter concerned.

  • Narbavi on March 28, 2012, 1:45 GMT

    @parsuram: that's really funny!! even recently rahul applauded him for his 100 hundreds, and yesterday sachin was the oly guy who didnt turn up, what would u say for that??

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on March 28, 2012, 1:42 GMT

    So the function takes place in Mumbai. The elephant doesn't come. The elephant doesn't even send a message and Rahul anna did the right thing by addressing each one of his mates who spoke about him making it look as though he was just addressing the mates that were there. Can anybody guess who the elephant is?

  • on March 28, 2012, 1:10 GMT

    I am not too fussy about Dravid not mentioning anything about Sachin (given that he wasn't present; it would have been inappropriate to mention anything about anyone who wasn't attending), but I really, really wonder why Sachin wasn't present.

  • aim0017 on March 28, 2012, 0:54 GMT

    Rahul...Not sure if you can ever be replaced buddy. I surely will miss my MOST favorite cricketer ever since i learned the work 'Cricket'.

    You surely were a wall! Can't forget those test matches when the so called 'Rawalpindi Express' would take a long ass run up all the way from boundary...with the pace that must have taken every bit of his energy...only to see Mr. Dravid place it just an inch away from his bat like a magnet!

    Take a bow Rahul! I will miss you till i know the word 'Cricket'!

  • johnathonjosephs on March 28, 2012, 0:28 GMT

    Why is Dravid's retirement still on cricinfo? Yes, he was a great player, but he retired more than 2 weeks ago

  • chakdeindianeverdie on March 28, 2012, 0:03 GMT

    what a man............(wall )is legend of indian cricket!!!

  • chakdeindianeverdie on March 27, 2012, 23:38 GMT

    salute the great wall of india....the true indian fans and cricket fans will miss u.... jammie !!!!......

    sajeesh nair bangalore

  • on March 27, 2012, 23:18 GMT

    Not a mention of Sachin tendulkar...they had some of the best partnerships in cricket ...very sad state !!

  • L4zybugg3r on March 27, 2012, 23:14 GMT

    @ProdigyB and Gmale I agree there seems to be some tension between Sachin and Rahul but I hope Sachin has a good excuse for not showing up because at the moment he looks like the problem. Point being Sachin has the records but Rahul has my respect, I'd much prefer to have Rahul in my team.

  • cricarch on March 27, 2012, 22:55 GMT

    Rahul has taken the legacy of Indian cricket to honorable heights. He deservingly is one of the all time greats of the game. I must admit that as a kid, I never liked watching Dravid bat in a test. In a kid's eyes, he was missing the aggression, spark and entertainment value that I was craving for. But as I grew up and understood the game, I respect no other player more than him. He is the one who induced the love for the game in me. The one who redefined the true value of a wicket amid all flashy hitters. The one who is most respected by his enemy bowlers. A true gem that perhaps India will never have again. We will miss you Rahul.

  • on March 27, 2012, 22:54 GMT

    @Prodigy: Awesome how you noticed that Dravid said nothing about Sachin, yet you didn't take note that Sachin decided not to attend altogether.. Awesome observation.

  • Parsuram on March 27, 2012, 22:30 GMT

    I want to echo Gmale and prodigyb--why did Rahul not mention even one word about his relationship with Sachin? I am sure that Sachin is a gentleman and many persons find him to be a person who gives excellent advice and support. Did he not offer any support to Rahul? Was there not even one good moment to cherish with Sachin? Come on Rahul, don't stoop to such a level! You are much, much better than this!

  • Andre2 on March 27, 2012, 22:20 GMT

    To ProdigyB and Gmale: probably Dravid did not mention Tendulkar in his speed because Tendulkar was NOT present at the reception to honour Dravid. And Dravid replied to al those individuals who had spoken to him and about him at the event organized by BCCI in MUMBAI (SRT city !). But Tendulkar did NOT attend nor did not send a message (like BCCI president). So ....

  • anandbv on March 27, 2012, 22:05 GMT

    Hats off to the legend and will miss your craftsmanship on the field. True legend on and off the field.

  • Unmesh_cric on March 27, 2012, 21:41 GMT

    Salute to the legend of Indian cricket!

  • SagirParkar on March 27, 2012, 21:41 GMT

    RD - what a fine specimen of a gentleman !!!! take a bow....

  • sportofpain on March 27, 2012, 21:34 GMT

    Thanks for the memories Rahul. You played cricket the way I dreamt of playing so in that sense every innings that you played I played too. So I scored that 185 in Kolkatta, I scored that 203 in Adelaide and I kissed the India cap when we beat the Aussies. Sometimes I would also say, Rahul don't defend so much. That bowler is not good enough but you didn't listen:-)

    We live our dreams through our heroes - you were one of them. But don't even begin to think you can rest - the India batting coach job awaits.

    Thanks for the memories! Much Respect! Now start plotting a way for us to get back to No 1

  • on March 27, 2012, 21:32 GMT

    Oh man, all of this can't be prepared in advance. In such a case I think we could well have the Wall as commentator in some form soon and what a delight it would be.

  • Gmale on March 27, 2012, 21:28 GMT

    No meantion of SRT...hmmmmm

  • on March 27, 2012, 21:21 GMT

    You will be dearly missed on the field sir. The game of cricket is richer to have been blessed with someone like you for the past 16+ years. Good luck for whatever you may decide to pursue in the future. Respect.

  • on March 27, 2012, 21:17 GMT

    Sometimes, you feel you have known and admired somebody, who you never had a chance to interact personally in life, better than the people around you in family / everyday life. In my childhood (even now) I felt closest to Anne Frank more than my family members and friends - just through her diary.

    Rahul - in another sphere - you are such a person to many of us. We have seen and admired you immensely over watching you in the cricket fields for more than a decade. Through your speeches recently, you have become so close suddenly as a human being we can almost identify - and as if known you closely for a long time.

    All the best mate - for your next phase of life.

  • ProdigyA on March 27, 2012, 21:14 GMT

    Dont want to be a spoil sport but not a word on the great man Sachin? Something fishy?

  • on March 27, 2012, 20:59 GMT

    Rahul Dravid, you are not the one that should be thanking us, we, as cricket fans around the world, are the ones that should be thanking you, you have given us so many memories on the field and off. You were a legend of the game, you ARE a legend of the game. Thank you Rahul Dravid, thank you so so much and all the best for what your life brings you post-retirement.

  • on March 27, 2012, 20:57 GMT

    Looks like Rahul said sorry in case he forgot to mention someone was meant to forget putting sth about SRT, may be not.

  • on March 27, 2012, 20:53 GMT

    I was moved to tears reading this. Cricket will never be the same again without RD. One of the greatest batsman of this era and an ultimate team guy. Will miss you Jammy!

  • dailycric on March 27, 2012, 20:49 GMT

    thank you rahul. tearfully. cricket will never be as worthwhile without you. you have enriched the last 16 years of my life.

  • on March 27, 2012, 20:46 GMT

    Thanks BCCI for felicitate such a great player like Dravid. I salute you for your devotion and hard work that you put up for the game of cricket to make Team India as best team in the world.

  • on March 27, 2012, 20:45 GMT

    no words!! Touched!! Hats of to this great player and person.

  • on March 27, 2012, 20:44 GMT

    Dravid - You are the embodiment of humility.Respect !!

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • on March 27, 2012, 20:44 GMT

    Dravid - You are the embodiment of humility.Respect !!

  • on March 27, 2012, 20:45 GMT

    no words!! Touched!! Hats of to this great player and person.

  • on March 27, 2012, 20:46 GMT

    Thanks BCCI for felicitate such a great player like Dravid. I salute you for your devotion and hard work that you put up for the game of cricket to make Team India as best team in the world.

  • dailycric on March 27, 2012, 20:49 GMT

    thank you rahul. tearfully. cricket will never be as worthwhile without you. you have enriched the last 16 years of my life.

  • on March 27, 2012, 20:53 GMT

    I was moved to tears reading this. Cricket will never be the same again without RD. One of the greatest batsman of this era and an ultimate team guy. Will miss you Jammy!

  • on March 27, 2012, 20:57 GMT

    Looks like Rahul said sorry in case he forgot to mention someone was meant to forget putting sth about SRT, may be not.

  • on March 27, 2012, 20:59 GMT

    Rahul Dravid, you are not the one that should be thanking us, we, as cricket fans around the world, are the ones that should be thanking you, you have given us so many memories on the field and off. You were a legend of the game, you ARE a legend of the game. Thank you Rahul Dravid, thank you so so much and all the best for what your life brings you post-retirement.

  • ProdigyA on March 27, 2012, 21:14 GMT

    Dont want to be a spoil sport but not a word on the great man Sachin? Something fishy?

  • on March 27, 2012, 21:17 GMT

    Sometimes, you feel you have known and admired somebody, who you never had a chance to interact personally in life, better than the people around you in family / everyday life. In my childhood (even now) I felt closest to Anne Frank more than my family members and friends - just through her diary.

    Rahul - in another sphere - you are such a person to many of us. We have seen and admired you immensely over watching you in the cricket fields for more than a decade. Through your speeches recently, you have become so close suddenly as a human being we can almost identify - and as if known you closely for a long time.

    All the best mate - for your next phase of life.

  • on March 27, 2012, 21:21 GMT

    You will be dearly missed on the field sir. The game of cricket is richer to have been blessed with someone like you for the past 16+ years. Good luck for whatever you may decide to pursue in the future. Respect.